With most opponents’ defensive schemes geared towards junior shooting guard Josh Decker, senior guard Brandon Albright has come through with flying colors recently for the Woodridge boys basketball team.
Albright’s latest exploits came when he scored 19 points, including two 3-point goals, in the Bulldogs’ 71-48 victory Feb. 7 at home over Portage Trail Conference Metro Division rival Field.
Woodridge improved to 10-9 overall and 8-4 in the Metro.
"It’s good to have a second scorer emerge," Bulldogs head coach Ric Blevins said. "And when Brandon comes up and makes shots, that actually creates stuff for Josh. Brandon and Josh have been complementary of each other both on the floor and off. Brandon has worked really hard, and he’s trying to be a leader for us."
In the win over the Falcons, Woodridge actually trailed 15-14 after one quarter before forging ahead 37-25 at halftime. The Bulldogs increased their lead to 61-37 after three quarters.
"Field shot the ball pretty well in the first quarter. We were just kind of finding our way," said Blevins. "We knew that we’d be able to pressure them at some point, and about the middle of the second quarter, we were able to put the pressure on them.
"We slowly worked our way through the third quarter and built on it a little bit. We had pretty firm control of the game from the start of the fourth quarter on.
"Most of my starters didn’t play much in the fourth quarter," continued Blevins. "It was nice to get some guys in off the bench and let them play some minutes. It was a good night all around."
Decker scored 12 points and had seven rebounds.
"I thought Josh did a really good job. He didn’t force a lot," the coach said. "He’s still not 100 percent healthy."
With eight points apiece were senior Kyle Mottice (including two 3-pointers), senior shooting guard Josh Fleming and sophomore power forward Christian Everly.
"We’ve been asking a lot from Christian," said Blevins. "Sometimes we ask him to do too much, but I think he’s making strides."
Junior Owen Thompson scored seven points.
"Owen is a kid who comes in and works his tail off every day," Blevins said. "The way we’re asking him to play the game of basketball is a little bit foreign to him, but he’s learning on the fly. A credit to him. He’s doing everything in his power to do those things."
Sophomore shooting guard Ben Kiser scored four points, senior point guard Nick Williams hit on a single 3-pointer and senior Ben Lahoski had two points.
Woodridge is scheduled to host Metro rival Coventry Friday at 7 p.m.
The Bulldogs are set to host County Division crossover rival Mantua Crestwood Tuesday at 7 p.m. before concluding the regular season at home against Metro foe Norton Feb. 21 at 7 p.m.
Woodridge is seeded seventh in the Stow Division II sectional-district tournament. The Bulldogs are set to host 10th-seeded Aurora in a sectional semifinal Feb. 25 at 7 p.m.